Yale team navigates campus anger amid NCAA Tournament bid
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) Yale will be competing next week in the program's first NCAA Tournament since 1962, but the Ivy League champions are struggling to gain support on campus as controversy swirls around its former captain, who was dismissed from the school last month.
Instead of basking in the adulation of March Madness, the team is apologizing for supporting Jack Montague with T-shirts featuring his number and nickname during warmups during a nationally televised game against Harvard two weeks ago.
The school, citing federal privacy law, has declined to give details and confirmed only that Montague is no longer a student. Montague's father has said he was expelled from the school in February.
Montague has not responded to numerous telephone and email messages. His father told the New Haven Register that their lawyers have told them not to speak publicly, though it's not clear who's representing the player.
Montague has not been accused of any crimes, while campus and local authorities say they have no reports or investigations against him. No lawsuits or criminal complaints could be located Thursday in federal or state courts.
Expulsion at Yale is handled privately with a wide range of offenses and with a far lower threshold for establishing wrongdoing than any criminal case.
The mysterious circumstances and handling entirely within the confines of Yale have led to widespread rumor and speculation on campus about what happened, as well as backlash against the team for the T-shirts.
The team said in a statement Wednesday night that it would learn and grow from the incident, and apologized for ''the hurt we have caused.''
The team is still deciding whether it will hold a public event on Sunday when the pairings for the NCAA Tournament are announced.
''As student representatives of Yale we hope to use our positions on and off the court in a way that can make everyone proud,'' the team wrote.